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Croker keen to finalise new deal so he can focus on title chase

Canberra co-captain Jarrod Croker has his sights set on a contract extension and sustained period of finals success as he targets the 300-game milestone as a one-club man.

The 29-year-old centre has played 257 first-grade games for the club and will be well on track to overtake Jason Croker's record of 318 games for Canberra if he can secure a multiple-year extension.

Croker, who is signed until the end of 2020, said ideally he would like to get his extension sorted out before the start of the new season with his intention to be a one-club man and play 300-plus NRL games for the Raiders.

"It would be a dream come true for me and it is something I’d love to do so hopefully we can get something organised for the next couple of years so I can hopefully get there," Croker told

"Without being too confident, I am still confident that will be the case. I certainly don’t want to go anywhere else and I hope he club doesn’t want me to either.

"I’m only 29 and still have a fair bit of footy left in me but to be that one-club player would be pretty good.

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"I’d like to get it done as soon as possible but everyone is on holidays at the moment so things are a bit quiet."

Croker was born on September 11, 1990, just a fortnight before the Raiders won their second premiership. Four years later they won their third title but had to wait another 25 years to play in a decider again. That was against the Roosters last month in a heart-breaking 14-8 loss.

When the co-captain does return to training it will be with a determination to ensure the side remains a premiership threat for years to come and emulate the premiership-winning sides of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"That is what I believe and what I hope. It is easy to stand here and say that after one good season but I firmly believe we have the players, culture and staff  to have a successful period in the coming years," Croker said.

"We obviously have to be better next year and that is going to take a lot of hard work because we are probably going to have sides coming after us as well. I hope the boys are having a good break and enjoying themselves because once that hard work starts and that extra motivation kicks in it will be on again.

"We have a strong group of boys who have come a long way over the last couple of seasons. They should be proud of themselves but at the same time it doesn’t get us the ring either. We will bounce back but it is not just going to happen."

The Raiders have not backed up their good seasons in recent years. Croker was in the sides that played finals football in 2010, 2012 and 2016.

"Consistency has been a big issue for us over a long time in terms of putting back-to-back seasons together," he said.

"This year we were very consistent defensively. There weren’t too many games where we leaked many points and every game we were in with a chance of winning.

"We have come a long way over the last couple of seasons but I  still think we have a little way to go."

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The acquisition of Wigan half George Williams for 2020 will assist the Raiders in their endeavour to take that next step.

"I haven’t seen a lot of him because I don’t watch a lot of Super League, to be honest. Then again, I hadn’t seen a lot of Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead or John Bateman either until they came over and blew us all away," Croker grinned.

"I had a chat to Todd Carney who played against George in England and he gave him a massive wrap so I am sure he will be handy and fit in well to our culture. The Pommy boys have got a bit of a country aura about them … nice and chilled and laid back."

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.